If you’re using WordPress to manage a website, caching should be a no brainer. Not long ago, caching was cumbersome. But now it’s simple; and there are a variety of options to leverage and get it right.
So what is caching?
If your WordPress site were a book, caching is speed reading. Rather than read each individual word every time a new page shows up, cache enables visitors—mainly their browsers—to “chunk” intelligible pieces of your site together. This increases page load speed and decreases strain on your server. Caching relies on saved “chunks” of already-processed code to “read” sites quickly.
There are a few kinds of caching. Browser cache is most local, and you can turn it on and off in your own browser settings. It stores information that you’ve viewed and makes it faster to view again. Caching via an application is somewhere more remote, and relies on software within a website to deliver cached values. Similarly, server-side caching is general “chunking” even below the web hosting layer. These last two—because they’re remote and not particular to your browser settings—benefit all site users equally. That’s the sort of caching we’re concerned with the most.
If you’re running WordPress on your own server, utilizing PHP’s OpCache is a good bet. OpCache is built into PHP 5.5 and is remarkably simple to set up and get running.
In addition—or if you’re managing a WordPress site as an administrator—WP Rocket is a fantastic plugin with plenty of solid reviews. We use it from time to time; and the uptick in performance results is simply stunning.